He moves effortlessly from treetops in 18th century China to ranches in Wyoming.

Taiwanese-American film-maker Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) became the highest grossing foreign film in several countries at the time of its release. His childhood dream of making a Chinese wuxia (martial arts and chivalry) film earned him a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards.

Five years later, Lee won the Best Director at the Academy Awards for Brokeback Mountain, a heart-wrenching film that explores the relationship of two ranch hands. The film won 71 awards in all, including the Golden Globe, the Directors Guild and the Bafta.

But that’s not why we love Lee. He is a prolific multitasker— directing, writing, acting, editing, producing. He is also a genre-hopping wonderman. He has tried everything, from period dramas such as Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1995)—which marked his entry into Hollywood—to American Civil War dramas such as Ride with the Devil (1999).

Next week, the first leg of a travelling Ang Lee retrospective will screen five films in Delhi: Fine Line (1984), Pushing Hands (1992), The Wedding Banquet (1993), Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). Together, these films trace Lee’s journey, starting from his days at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The Ang Lee retrospective will run from 23-25 July at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. Entry is free. The festival will then travel to Pune and Kolkata. For details, log on to www.indianauteur.com

Anindita Ghose